Ryder Cup a Rare Commodity on Wall Street
When I heard that the Ryder Cup was being ferried from across the pond to the financial capital of the world (and my hometown) I had to get a closer look. This trophy is won for the honor of the game and not for the amount of money on the line. There’s history etched into this 1927 award and the few spaces remaining around its base herald in hushed possibilities of a new cup, leaving this one in a trophy case sometime in the next ten years.
It was with great pride that I held the Ryder Cup at the Wales on Wall Street luncheon. The Ryder Cup was, perhaps, being “used” to introduce the 2010 Celtic Manor Resort course, but with all of the attention it received, I’m sure it didn’t mind. People lined up for the opportunity to share a piece of history and most were awed by its presence.
The Celtic Manor Resort Twenty Ten Course was built specifically for Ryder Cup action and is ready and open for play (only 12 tee times are issued per day!) It is a links course and, from what Ian Woosnam claims, “The closing stretch is fantastic…you’ve got two great match-play par 4s at the 14th and the 15th,” he noted. “Then the 18th is a really cracking par 5 to finish. You are going to be standing there, thinking shall I or shan’t I go for it?”
There are two additional golf courses at this compound, one of which was designed by Colin Montgomerie (par-69) and has been described as “a short course, one you can go around very quickly". Montgomerie’s course obviously cannot compete with the challenge of the championship 2010 course but variety is the spice of life so Monty’s course will get plenty of play.
Celtic Manor is a five-star luxury resort which features two spas (for the non-golfers in your group) and boasts an exceptional array of activities. Aside from admiring the undiscovered countryside and playing way too much golf, mountain biking, hiking and something that I’m really interested in trying, “kite-buggying”, will keep your party hopping.
With 200 golf courses and the country only a 45-minute “hop, skip and a jump” from London, Wales is quickly becoming a tourist hotspot.
The staff at Wales on Wall Street really put on a terrific show. There were Penderyn whisky tastings, Watkins ales pouring freely and Welsh dishes designed with Americans in mind. In other words, no Laverbread, crempog or faggots. The mood was made more festive with a choir onstage singing in their native tongue.
The golf simulator on hand told me that my swing had a slight out-to-inward path but not bad for the wintry season. Interfering structures had to be repositioned for my lefty swing but I still smacked one shot 200 yards…I’ll take that coming from a simulator using a taped-up Golden Bear driver!
The Spherical Blade putter was introduced to us Yanks. After testing it at the “putting challenge” I noticed that the face was created of, what appeared to be, smoothened steel curved both horizontally and vertically, not like the soft, urethane insert of my Odyssey Two-Ball putter, forcing me to lighten my swing to a bare touch. Some golfers may like this feel but I would need to test it further.
The Wales on Wall Street luncheon drew attention to the 2010 Ryder Cup competition and to all of the culture and activities Wales has to offer. It also “teased” golf fans with the Ryder Cup in plain view.
With a “fast start” being devised by 2008 U.S.A. Ryder Cup Team Captain Azinger, one plan to claim victory is “freedom to set the course up however it fits his team.” Other ideas to secure victory include “taking only the top eight players and basing the points entirely on money".
So…alert to the U.K….
The next time the Ryder Cup enters the United States on “official business” will probably be in Kentucky and this time it won’t just be on a visa…it’s staying!
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What is worth mentioning, is that Wales' south coast is shaping up to be one of the UK's best golf tours, with a handful of worthy links within an hour or two from Celtic Manor and the capital of Cardiff. Royal Porthcawl, about a half hour from Celtic Manor, is one of my favorite links I've ever played and is right up there with any British Open host I saw in Scotland.
Paul Williams, PR Manager for Celtic Manor Resort, recently wrote to tell me of a few inconsistencies in this blog. All of the information obtained originally was from my visit to Wales on Wall Street and I apologize for any misinformation.
1. The Twenty Ten is described as (only 12 tee times are issued per day!). This limited play was only in operation last summer while the course was bedding in. The course is now fully open. Also, the course is inland and therefore cannot be described as a links course.
2. While shorter than the Twenty Ten, it is probably misleading to call The Montgomerie “a short course, one you can go around very quickly". It is still a full-size championship course at 6,268 yards, par 69, and usually takes 4-4.5 hours to play. (It may have been confused with the now-defunct Coldra Woods academy course).
3. Finally, Wales is described as 45 minutes from London, a journey time only possible by air. It is actually two hours from London by road or rail - still a lot closer than many overseas visitors imagine!
I have never been to London nor travelled to Wales but would be interested in confirming the journey time!
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